Just a little history on candles before we go on on why you can opt, now, for soy candles.
The first reference to candles goes back before Christ in Asia, where they were made with whale fat. After that, they appeared in Europe in the middle age, where they had a lighting function essentially. Back then, they were made with animal tallow: it was the cheapest option, yet, the smoke was foggy, and the odor was not the most pleasant, but not many people could afford animal fat based candles (beeswax), that burnt in a cleaner way and did not have a smoky flame.
Since modern ages, and as of today, paraffin wax candles are the most popular and the cheapest: paraffin is distilled from coal, petroleum or oil shale. Beeswax has been very popular since forever because of its high quality but its comparatively expensive price, is making it rarer and rarer in the candle market, and now, people are asking again for more natural candles, upon belief that paraffin, because derived from petrol, can be toxic, and candle makers came up with soy wax candles in the late 90’s to satisfy their most demanding audiences.
Facts on soy candles:
– Natural: there has never really been any proof that paraffin is toxic for the environment or for the human health, but as it’s derived from petroleum, there’s still such a suspicion, on the other hand, soy wax is made 100% of soybean, which is a vegetable.
– Burn longer: this is the major argument for soy wax supporters to justify the higher price (though affordable). A study realised by Rezaei, K, T. Wang, and L.A. Johnson, called: “Combustion characteristics of candles made from hydrogenated soybean oil” suggested that soy wax, burning at a lower rate than paraffin wax, would burn 30% longer with regular wick trimming.
– Low melting temperature: the melting point of soy wax is lower than the paraffin one, which means that even if you spill some on you, you won’t be burned and it cleans up very easily. Also, you will have a bigger amount of melted wax around your wick, which you can use for beauty purposes (see below).
– Skin softener: the melting temperature of soy wax candles is around 120°F, which is hot but tolerable for human skin and this is great for the people who are seeking to get softener hands and feet: you can burn soy wax candle and enjoy the liquid wax as mustorizer. Indeed you can use a spoon to take a bit (it’s pretty thick) of liquid, delicately touch it and if it’s ok for you, just rub on your hands and feet. For the best results on feet, the best time is before going to sleep: apply the liquid wax, put on loose socks and go to bed. Silky smooth feet guaranteed in the morning. If you choose a scented candle with essential oils, you’ll equally benefit of their health benefits.
Caution & advices:
– Just as regular safety indications : never leave a burning candle unattended, near children or pets, next to inflammable objects or lying on surfaces that don’t resist to heat.
– Soy candles can be mixed sometimes with other type of wax (beeswax, palm wax) and also paraffin: if you want to use the liquid wax on your hands/feet, make sure that it’s 100% natural.
– To make the best out of your soy wax candle and preserve its qualities, don’t burn it more than 4 consecutive hours and trim the wick after each burning session (once cooled down).
– If you want to use the wax as mustorizer, as stated above, make sure it’s 100% natural and make sure you bear the temperature (proper moisturizing/massaging wax should be at a very tolerable temperature).
As a conclusion, we would say that traditional candles are good, but we are glad that the manufacturers and the industry are bringing more options to the market – hey, who doesn’t like to have the choice! And big up to the fact that being less hot, hence tolerable for the human skin, you can use them for your beauty routine (only external use) and even for massage.
For the latter purpose, soy candles are a real turn-on: if you can, treat yourself and your beloved one to some sensual time, you can create a nice atmosphere, with some soft lighting (thanks to candles of course) and a massage with soy candle ready for use – when you have enough liquid wax in the pool to be able to pour it on the back (or desired areas) and begin the massage.